Biomimicry
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Biomimicry
Nature inspired innovation
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Mimicking the Veins in a Leaf, Scientists Hope to Make Super-Efficient Displays and Solar Cells

Mimicking the Veins in a Leaf, Scientists Hope to Make Super-Efficient Displays and Solar Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"If you take a close look at a leaf from a tree and you’ll notice the veins that run through it. The structure these veins take are what’s called a quasi-fractal hierarchical networks. Fractals are geometric shapes in which each part has the same statistical character of the whole. Fractal science is used to model everything from snowflakes and the veins of leaves to crystal growth. Now an international team of researchers led by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have mimicked leaves’ quasi-fractal structure and used it to create a network of nanowires for solar cells and touch screen displays."

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Plants Exhibit a Wide Range of Mechanical Properties, Engineers Find

Plants Exhibit a Wide Range of Mechanical Properties, Engineers Find | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"From an engineer’s perspective, plants such as palm trees, bamboo, maples and even potatoes are examples of precise engineering on a microscopic scale. Like wooden beams reinforcing a house, cell walls make up the structural supports of all plants. Depending on how the cell walls are arranged, and what they are made of, a plant can be as flimsy as a reed, or as sturdy as an oak. An MIT researcher has compiled data on the microstructures of a number of different plants, from apples and potatoes to willow and spruce trees, and has found that plants exhibit an enormous range of mechanical properties, depending on the arrangement of a cell wall’s four main building blocks: cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and pectin. Lorna Gibson, the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, says understanding plants’ microscopic organization may help engineers design new, bio-inspired materials."

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Elke B. Bachler's curator insight, April 4, 2015 6:14 AM

There is still so very much useful to discover in nature!

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The Next Frontier in Design? Hierarchical Structures

The Next Frontier in Design? Hierarchical Structures | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Natural hierarchical systems share some common traits that are worthy of emulation: They use a few components (like keratin) to make a wide array of different structures in controlled orientations with durable interfaces between different materials. They are dependent or sensitive to water and produced with benign chemistry. Their properties and performances can vary in response to the environment. These complex, controlled shapes are resilient and often are able to repair themselves."

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Management Innovation According to Nature’s Genius

Management Innovation According to Nature’s Genius | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The current industry model is broken. Our economy is built on a ‘take make waste’ model that negatively impacts environmental and human systems and is not tenable in the long term. It is time to reinvent. We are gifted with an array of genius examples in nature – mechanism and ecosystems that have evolved over 3.8 billion years and provide a blueprint for products, processes, and system organization that can be truly effective toward a healthier, resilient future. We propose that companies mimic nature and reinvent themselves around the fundamental science of Biomimicry’s seven Life’s Principles. This is Management Innovation According to Nature’s Genius."

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Why Don't Penguin Feathers Freeze?

Why Don't Penguin Feathers Freeze? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Despite living in frigid temperatures and getting wet, penguins’ feathers remain free of ice. How is that possible? [...] The answer is in the microstructure of penguins' feathers. The feathers are comprised of “a network of barbs, wrinkled barbules and tiny interlocking hooks. In addition to being hydrophobic, this hierarchical architecture with grooved structures is anti-adhesive. [...] Based on their discoveries about the feathers’ microstructure, the scientists recreated the design in a nanofiber membrane that could be developed into an ice-proof material, which they say could potentially be used in applications such as electrical insulation."

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Characterization of the Topography and Wettability of English Weed Leaves and Biomimetic Replicas

Characterization of the Topography and Wettability of English Weed Leaves and Biomimetic Replicas | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

In a recent paper published in Journal of Bionic Engineering, researchers from BERG-IBB studied the topography and wettability of the underside of English weed (Oxalis pes-caprae) leaves using epoxy replicas created via a two-step casting process. Leaves were found to be close to super hydrophobic due to the presence of a characteristic pattern of irregular 100 µm – 200 µm × 60 µm convex papillae. The water repellency properties of such microstructured surfaces may have important applications, including self-cleaning, anti-microbial and anti-fouling.

 

Photo details: SEM image of an epoxy replica of the leaf of English weed. P.M. Pereira, 2013.


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Computation, 3D Printing, and Testing of Bone-Inspired Composites

Computation, 3D Printing, and Testing of Bone-Inspired Composites | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers at MIT have developed an approach that allows them to create physical sample of a multiscale computer model of a synthetic material. he approach allows creation of complex hierarchical patterns such as bones. The process could be scaled up to provide a cost-effective way to manufacture composite materials that are tailored for specific functions in different parts of a structure."

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